Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by LisaCClark

I am Scott Crosby's sister. He passed away in May 2012, early at just 56. I knew him very little in my life, saw him for moments, just two or three times since our teens, and as others in our family died this past year also I've been trying to piece together his life history as the last remaining family member. (Our paths diverged 180 degrees. He resided on Long Island, in NY, CT (mostly Darien) and FL for a short while, and I'm writing this from San Diego, CA after having lived in tech centers across the US.)

According to Metro-North folks I spoke with to write his obituary, Scott was a tower director and supervisor at Grand Central Station covering multiple track areas for a number of years, but was dismissed from that job in the 1980s. He appealed for years to get it back as it was his highest recognized professional accomplishment and he was very concerned about the physics and mechanics of train safety, even continuing to study them for years afterward (as engineering was a family trend). I've heard several stories of what happened around his dismissal or firing, but would like to get confirmations for my own resolution and correct family history. I also know that he continued to attend Metro-North hearings in Connecticut and communicated with employees, though in deficient ways that got him into more legal trouble. He told our father the details of what he knew about the trains' "push v. pull" engineering, and knew he was being stubborn in his relentless pursuit to get the word out, as even his final writings left behind referred to it.

I was present, with a cousin, to clean out Scott's sad last residence and living situation, and have spoken with a number of his lifetime friends already. Described to me as "brilliant", "kind" and "generous", he was also described as "odd", "potentially dangerous" and "easy to anger". It's been suggested to me that he was bi-polar or perhaps schizophrenic; he was certainly smart enough to have Asperger's, lived drug-addled and had had excruciating daily pain since his 20s.

My effort now is to try to make sense of all this and achieve a clearer picture of him, or at least a timeline of what happened with him. I'm considering writing a book about his tragic life, as it included crippling medical maladies and accidents from an early age, substance abuses starting in his teens, and possible psychiatric disorders -- whether the outcome of addictions or their own separate cause is the question -- that made mainstream social establishment difficult and led to his numerous incarcerations and losses of property.

Before contacting businesses and institutions in NY and CT to interview folks and try to get records, I'd like to ask here if anybody knew him at all, and would be willing to speak with me by phone or on a Skype call to share with me who/how he was as a man, an employee, a supervisor, a co-worker/colleague, a friend or a source. I was never told about any individual people and only have Web-published references to him and any documentation he left behind. If I publish anything about him quoting information I receive, all names and titles will be changed if requested or releases obtained, and I'd be happy to sign any confidentiality agreements that would make folks feel more comfortable.

I hope you can help me, or perhaps even forward the link to this post to friends of yours who might have known him or worked with him.

Thank you,

Lisa (Crosby) Clark
San Diego, CA U.S.A.
E: [email protected]
T: +1 858 342 0376
Skype: LisaCClark
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  by Jeff Smith
At Ms. Clark's request, I've unlocked the topic, in case you'd like to share here rather than via email.

It is an unusual request, as she told me. I'm sure she'll appreciate honesty without rancor, candor without spite. We all have our demons, after all.

Thanks, all.

  by Tommy Meehan
As I told Jeff off-list, I do remember seeing Mr. Crosby appear at several of the MNR President's Conferences in the early 2000s and at a couple other similar type events.

I remember he walked with a cane and he introduced himself as a former Metro-North dispatcher. His comments were always the same. That because of the difference in the weight between a cab car and a locomotive it was dangerous to operate push/pull trains in push mode. He was always courteous and well-spoken. He definitely seemed, however, to have some personal issues.

I remember the first time he spoke I went home that night and Googled push/pull trains. I found some comments specifically regarding Scott Crosby's concerns. Engineering people in the railroad industry said experience had shown that operating the locomotive in push mode with tightlock couplers had been demonstrated to be perfectly safe. That thousands upon thousands of these trains had been operated without incident.

I never knew exactly who he was (until now) but he was definitely someone who stuck out in my mind. As I say, he seemed obviously to be someone with personal problems but he also seemed to be a very intelligent man. He was very courteous and well-spoken.

I know this isn't much but at least he's remembered. :(
  by LisaCClark
This is to Tommy Meehan,

I know it's ridiculously late, but I just saw your response to my post and want to thank you for your information and candor. What you've shared is quite consistent with other descriptions I've received about my deceased brother Scott.